Today marks the start of National Insect Week, a whole week of events and awareness across the UK. Many insects are vital to the garden, so join us in celebrating British bugs!
We have a selection of bee and wildlife-friendly plants for you to choose from. Or, if you’re not so fond of our creepy crawly friends, repel them humanely and efficiently with an ultrasonic insect repeller.
Here are some fascinating facts…
– The heaviest UK insect is the great silver water beetle, weighing in at about 25-30g.
– The smallest is the fairy-fly, an internal parasite of water beetle eggs, at 0.25mm.
– The Lundy cabbage flea beetle and the Lundy cabbage weevil live only along a strip 1½ miles long, 30 yards wide on the island of Lundy in the Bristol Channel and nowhere else in the world. They feed on the Lundy Cabbage, a plant that only lives on that island.
– Painted Lady butterflies make their yearly migration from North Africa and the Mediterranean to the UK each spring.
– When threatened, Ladybirds bleed foul-tasting poisonous blood from their knees.
– When a ladybird emerges from its pupa, it doesn’t have spots — the spots appear as the exoskeleton hardens.
– Bombardier beetles can produce sprays of boiling phenolic liquid in the face of predators such as shrews.
– Earwigs don’t go in people’s ears. Instead, their name comes from either ‘ear-wing’ or ‘ear-bug’ – referring their shape which is like a human ear.
– The complex folding mechanisms of an earwig’s hind wing have been copied to unfurl solar panels on space satellites.
– Insects are excellent at camouflage and mimicry – some caterpillars mimic twigs, and others mimic bird poo! Other harmless insects take advantage of our fears of bees and wasps, and colour themselves black & yellow to ward off enemies (even if they don’t actually sting!).
Joycelyn is a member of the Primrose marketing team.
She is a novice windowsill gardener but hopes to graduate to larger plants one day. She enjoys British food (despite its sometimes bad reputation) and British scenery.
At Primrose, when not tending to office plants, she deals with online advertising and social media.